Summary of a speech given by the Chairman of the Governing Board

Jean-Pierre Roth, Chairman of the Governing Board

Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Swiss National Bank, Berne, 20.04.2001

At the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Jean-Pierre Roth, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, analyses the favourable economic development of the past year, which was accompanied by no more than a moderate rise in inflation. The prospects remain good despite the risks inherent in the international environment. Experience with the new monetary policy concept fills the National Bank with confidence. The revision of the National Bank Law is the next undertaking of fundamental importance with which the Bank has to concern itself. Its mandate, which is only loosely defined in the Constitution, will be clearly spelled out in the revised Law: the National Bank must ensure price stability, while duly taking into account the development of economic activity. The National Bank's independence will also be formulated in detail; to counterbalance this, formal accountability will be embodied in the Law. While the distribution of the National Bank's profit was laid down in the present Law, the new draft law now also includes regulations for the calculation of the profit. They are designed to continue to enable the National Bank to set aside adequate currency reserves.